Chaumont’s timeless 'vie de château'

The stunning chateau at Chaumont-sur-Loire is best known for its garden. A new book by Chantal Colleu-Dumond also ventures inside the castle to reveal the royal history behind its remarkable interiors

There is no other chateau quite like it.

Its unique privilege is to be a true chateau standing on the banks of the Loire and looking out over a landscape of fields and forests that have lain virtually untouched for centuries.

Extracted from Inspired by Nature by Chantal Colleu-Dumond, with photos by Eric Sander. Published by Flammarion, £85

The views contemplated by today’s visitors are similar to the scenery admired by Catherine de’ Medici, Diane de Poitiers, or Germaine de Staël when they came to Chaumont-sur-Loire.

Time, too, has a distinctive quality here. This place appears, more than most, to be a concentrate of history, art, architecture, and gardens, one that has been constantly reborn and has reinvented itself over the ages.

The chateau’s towers and keep have an archetypal quality that visitors can dream on.

Its very “human” scale gives the edifice the feel of a large residence that it is easy to imagine ...

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